Simple Serial String Parsing

One of the initial requirements I came across whilst developing with the Arduino platform, as with the Netduino platform, was the need for effective 2 way serial communication between both the Arduino(s) and my desktop. Luckily, the Arduino software provides several examples that can get you up and running with serial communication in no time. ...more

Project Leonard – Z Axis Coupling

Following on from yesterdays Project Leonard post, today I fortunately I managed to get a set of the Z Axis couplings I designed last night printed. If you haven't been following my RepRap build, yesterday evening I tried to assemble the machines Z axis and hit a small problem, when trying to attach the steppers to the 8mm threaded bar used to lift the X carriage. ...more

Project Leonard – Z Axis Issues

Well this evening I hit the first snag in the Leonard build. No matter how much I tightened the motor to 8mm bar couplers the bar would not grip. I even tried wrapping tape around the bar in order to increase diameter (yup a dirty hack) but alas to no avail (bad design and/or model implementation if you ask me). Eventually one of the couplers snapped due to purpose over tightening (not surprisingly) and this brought a halt to proceedings for most of today's build. The above image shows the snapped coupling. Despite this issue however, I decided to continue mocking up the axis so I could get a feel of how things go together ready for my next attempt. ...more

Project Leonard – Y Carriage Build

Well some more of the parts for the Project Leonard build arrived today, more specifically the RAMPS electronics. Inspired by this I decided to allocate an hour this evening to a little more of the build. I started by tightening and squaring off the frame. This step takes some time and would be nearly impossible without the aid of spacing jigs (fashioned out of some spare lengths of wood). With this achieved (maybe a little to tight in places) I then moved onto assembling the Y Carriage. This like all of the build so far was a fairly easy process that consisted of adding the two running bars and attaching the MDF base plate (via gluing to 4 slide on bushings). With this achieved and a little adjustment to ensure that the bed runs the length of the bars smoothly, I also decided to attach the Y stepper motor. ...more

Project Leonard – Frame Build

Time for a quick update on my RepRap build, Leonard. Some of my part orders arrived at the weekend (kudos to for great customer service) so today I finally started on assembling the frame and was pleasantly surprised at how fast everything went together. Utilising the Prusa build guide available at I managed to get the basic structure put together in around an hour. Everything now needs tightening and squaring up, but I'm more than happy with progress so far. ...more

Project Leonard – My Own RepRap

Today I have started a new robotics project, Project Leonard. Leonard is to be my first CNC style automaton based on a RepRap design. I hope that the machine will afford me capability for home 3D printing, engraving, light milling and more. My thinking is that once I have completed the main unit (3D Printer) I will be able to then use it to develop and implement as many interchangeable CNC based attachments that I can think of. For those of you not in the know: RepRap is an open-source desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap can print those parts, RepRap is a self-replicating machine - one that anyone can build given time and materials. ...more

OpenNI in WPF via EmguCV

Another quick demo showing the Kinect's IR stream running in a WPF app. This time the image is created as an EmguCV (OpenCV-C#) Image Gray, ushort. As you can see the quality is greatly enhanced in comparison to the last attempt. If you look closely you can make out the IR dot markers and also the grid pattern. As a bonus it’s ready for some Image manipulation via EmguCV too. ...more

Xbee Explorer Regulated – Netduino

A very quick example demonstrating the use of the Xbee Explorer Regulated Board as an alternative to the Arduino Xbee Shield for serial communication. ...more

Sheldon 2.0 – Bumper and Headstock

Happily I managed to get quite a lot done on the Sheldon 2.0 upgrade this weekend. Primary focus was that cleaning up the wiring and putting together the bumper, however I also managed to put the headstock together too. ...more